posted in: Outdoors, Personal | 26

In case you missed it over on instagram the other day (go follow me if you haven’t already; loads of lovely views), I have been chosen as an Ordnance Survey’s GetOutside Champion for 2017, something I am rather happy about.

Splodz - Zoe - Get Outside Champion 2017

Enjoying the seals at Donna Nook.

A GetOutside Champion, as I’m sure you’re wondering, is someone tasked by Ordnance Survey, the very British mapping company, with encouraging others to get outside. The group, a team of outdoors enthusiasts who love to write about their adventures, aren’t employed by OS, but rather work with the company to spread the word about how awesome spending time having little (and big) adventures in the British countryside is.

It is a real honour to have been chosen. It is an acknowledgement of my aim to encourage you (yes, you) to get outside whenever you get an hour, and for demonstrating that the outdoors is for everyone. When I consider my place in the group of champions this year I wonder what OS are thinking picking little me, a full-time office-worker who has to fit in tiny adventures in-between everything else life brings. But the fact that they have makes me think that, maybe, this whole life is all about the journey thing, and my desire to make the most of my days on this planet, is worth something.

It’s also incredibly touching that so many of you commented on my announcement on social media saying you thought this was pretty cool and you felt I would be great at being a GetOutside Champion. I think it’s pretty cool too, and I thank you for your confidence in me.

Splodz - Zoe - Get Outside Champion 2017

Yep, the face (and feet) of a GetOutside Champion. And?! Photo credit: Allysse.

I know I have a “no yearly goals until the end of January” rule, but I thought I would start my twelve month term as a GetOutside Champion by listing a few of the outdoors related things I want to achieve this year…

Stop making excuses and just get outside more. On my lunch breaks, on a Saturday morning, when I’m tired, when it’s raining. I’m not terribly lazy, but you know, I could do much better. And with that in mind, I will bring back One Hour Outside in February as a challenge for me and all of you to spend time outdoors every single day in February. Like November, February is not an easy month of the year to feel motivated, so let’s give it a go.

Get up and hike (or cycle, but probably hike) to the sunrise at least twice… once on a beach so I can see the sunrise over the sea, and once to the top of a hill so I can see the sunrise below me. I’m not bad at getting up in the morning, but this would take some extra effort and I know it will be worth it.

Walk the West Highland Way. I’m planning this week-long adventure with Jenni and Allysse, who I did the Lyke Wake Walk with just over a year ago, and am already excited about it even though it’s not until October! This will be my longest hike to date, a little over 100 miles as I am planning to finish by hiking up Ben Nevis (it almost seems rude not to).

Combine all my road trips with walks to get to know the UK a little better. I absolutely love a good road trip, by car and motorcycle, and have some plans for a handful over the next few months. I’ve already started; last weekend I went to Southampton for tea (sometimes you cannot rely on the internet and you just have to visit friends), and travelled down early so I could wander through the New Forest for a few hours before dinner. It was wonderful.

There will be other things, there are bits and bobs already in the diary, but this little list should give some grounding to this GetOutside Champion thing as it applies to me.

Splodz - Zoe - Get Outside Champion 2017

Lost in the ferns. Photo credit: Allysse.

I’ll learn loads more about what being a GetOutside Champion will mean when I head down to meet Ordnance Survey and the rest of the group the end of the month. It means another trip to the New Forest, twice in one month, which pleases me greatly. Apparently OS are planning a photo shoot, which is both worrying an incredibly exciting; I’ll do my best to not be the one hiding in the corner or looking the wrong way! But in the mean time I am simply being grateful for the opportunity I have been given and wanted to let you know I plan on making the most of it. I guess 2017 is my year to #GetOutside!

26 Responses

  1. Trinette

    You persuaded me to walk 1000 miles a year at least 3 (or4) years a ago when you accepted the challenge to cycle the equivalent of LEJOG in a few months. I’ve done it every year since, 1075 miles last year. Having a dog helps of course. Well done on your achievement & I’d love to come on some of your easier walks, shame I don’t live nearer.

    • Splodz

      I’m impressed you’re still doing the 1000 mile challenge 🙂 I shall join you this year with that target. We will have to arrange a walk or two during the year 🙂

  2. Sarah - Craft Invaders

    Congratulations Zoe, it going to be a fab year and I can’t wait to follow you and everyone else on their adventures as #Getoutside Champions (and meet you in person!) x

  3. Lucy Edwards

    That’s great news, I think you are the perfect person to be an ambassador for getting outside more. The photoshoot in the New Forest sounds great, I love it down there. Look forward to following how you get on this year.

    • Splodz

      Thank you Lucy, I am truly touched by everyone’s confidence in me. I love the New Forest too, I shall make time for a walk while I am down there.

  4. Sarah Irving | The Urban Wanderer

    Congratulations, Zoe! You’re going to be a great Get Outside ambassador 🙂 I’m loving the sounds of your adventure ideas for the year too, it sounds like it will be a fun and jam packed year too. (in only the best way possible though!)

    • Splodz

      Thank you Sarah, that’s kind. It’s going to be a good year for sure, important to remember on a dark and wet Monday like today!

  5. Elizabeth (@TangoRaindrop)

    Congratulations! What a super award! 🙂 It’s not always easy to get outdoors this time of year, for sure, but I try as much as I can. Every morning I check the weather forecast and that determines what I’ll do for the day.

    • Splodz

      Thank you 🙂 The weather always plays a massive part, but the right activity and the right clothing and we are good to go 🙂 🙂

What do you think? Comment below...